Hurricanes and Other Tropical Storms

Before a Hurricane

Make a Plan

Hurricanes don’t only affect people living along the coast. They can still cause damage even if you live hundreds of miles from the shore. If you’re in an area where hurricanes are a risk, you need a plan.

CDC can help you make an emergency plan. Go to Make a Plan: Develop a Family Disaster Plan for help. Emergency preparedness checklist.

Be Ready

Even if there’s no risk of a hurricane right now, make sure you and your family are prepared.

  • Stock up on emergency supplies for your home and car.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them near every phone in your house or on the refrigerator. Program them into your cell phone, too.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it. Read the National Fire Protection Association’s tips for using fire extinguishers.
  • Find out where the nearest shelter is and the different routes you can take to get there if you have to leave your home.
  • Make sure that everyone in your family knows what the warning sirens in your area sound like — and what to do if they go off.

Get Supplies

During and after a hurricane, you may need supplies to keep your family safe and healthy. Remember that a hurricane could cut off your power and water supply. You also may not be able to drive because of damage to your car. Roads may be flooded or blocked.

That’s why it’s best to be prepared — stock up on everything you might need now. Here’s a checklist of what you need:

Food and Medicine Supplies for Hurricane Preparedness

  • Clean containers for water
  • At least 5 gallons of water per person (which should be enough to last 3 to 5 days)
  • A 3 to 5 day supply of food that doesn’t go bad (like canned food)
  • Baby food or formula
  • Prescription medicines

Safety Items

  • First aid kit and instructions
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets
  • Supplies to make drinking water safe (like iodine tablets or chlorine bleach)

Personal Care Products

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet cleaning cloths (like baby wipes) in case you don’t have clean water
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Tampons and pads
  • Diapers

Make sure your supplies are stored together in a place that’s easy to reach.

Make an Emergency Car Kit

In case you need to leave quickly during a hurricane, always keep an emergency kit in your car, too. Make sure you include:

  • Food that doesn’t go bad (like canned food)
  • Flares
  • Jumper cables (sometimes called booster cables)
  • Maps
  • Tools, like a roadside emergency kit
  • A first aid kit and instructions
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Sleeping bags
  • Flashlight and extra batteries

Having a GPS — either in your car or on your smartphone — can help during an emergency too.

Visit Ready.gov for more information on emergency plans and supply kits.